Three sideshow performers leave their lives of captivity and become "The Unholy Three." Echo the ventriloquist assumes the role of a kindly old grandmother who runs a bird shop. Tweedledee, the "twenty inch man," becomes her grandbaby, and Hercules is their assistant. Soon an incredible crime wave is launched from their little store.Written by
David Ezell <email@example.com>
In the original novel by Tod Robbins, Tweedledee is the mastermind of the Unholy Three instead of Echo. See more »
Hector is tried for murder and faces death simply because he visited the victim's house once and has no alibi for the night of the murder--not even reason enough to arrest him. He must have had the world's worst defense attorney. See more »
Turner Classic Movies showed an 86-minute version with a music and sound effects that was recorded in the 1970s by MGM from a stock music library for syndication. The tints for this edition are incorrect. See more »
A great film...period. Lon Chaney heads a group of three thieves/carnival performers as they masquerade as an old woman, a man, and a baby in a pet shop where they sell birds that talk only by ventriloquism. Once the owners get home they see the birds no longer talk and the thieves are invited into their opulent homes. Tod Browning, the director of Dracula, does a marvelous job with this film. There are scenes that are just fantastic, the best of which for me is the courtroom scene. Browning gets a lot of help, however, by some real good performances. Chaney turns in a complex performance of a ventriloquist in love, yet evil, yet with some slight conscience. The scene in the courtroom where he deliberates helping Hector is acting at its best. Throw in a great job by Mae Busch and little Harry Earles as a cigar-smoking midget disguised as a baby. The silent film is a lost art only in that we no longer view it, talk about it, review it like it should. This film and the performances within should be seen not heard.
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